Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Melinda and I were on a walk down to the river a week ago today and were surprised to find ducklings! It seemed awfully late in the season for us to be having newborns, unless they raise multiple broods per season... No mention of that in our bird book. These are mallards, the most common duck in North America, but are awfully cute with the babies. It was actually difficult to get a shot with more than one of them with their heads out of the water as they fed off the shallow river bottom. It was also interesting to note the water beading up and running past their bodies (click on the image for a closeup). They obviously got cold eventually - on our return trip they were out of the water getting warm underneath mom.

A postscript: I saw this same female tonight, a week later - the babies have grown a lot the last 7 days and all eight pictured this session are still with us!

That same walk we saw a tree full of what we believe are Eastern Kingbirds, feeding on insects near the water with swallows and waxwings. Here, a fledgling makes the universal signal for "feed me", and an adult comes up and oblidges with a mouthfull of bugs - yummy!
These shots were all taken shortly before sunset, so the colors are muted significantly. I used the Canon XSi and the Meade 80mm APO triplet (480mm focal length) and a monopod.

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